composers-producer-recording and TV artists
Sydney bands that performed in Vietnam in the sixties (60's) and seventies (70's) on youtube, Australian surf bands and music, female entertainers in the Vietnam war on youtube, famous Australian singers and entertainers

Australian entertainers, female entertainers in Vietnam, Aboriginal and Torres Strait entertainers, bands and musicians that worked for American and Australian military forces during the war in Vietnam in the 1960's and 1970's

Entertainers that performed in Vietnam on YouTube videos in the same era the Sapphires who were recently portrayed in the movie The Sapphires starring Jessica Mauboy

The film The Sapphires won six awards including best film at the AACTA film awards on the 30th January 2013

Other notable aboriginal performers, namely Wilma Reading and Heather Mae Reading performed in South Vietnam for American organizations in the same era as the Sapphires, a video of Heather Mae Reading with Sydney musicians is at Entertainers in Vietnam

Video's of Australian musicians in the war in Vietnam during 1969 and 1970 at this link : Vietnam 1969

The video on YouTube portrays actual footage and original music soundtrack of Peter and Marie Rappolt's Australian group of entertainers who were employed by American organizations and performed in Vietnam for 14 months, they completed over 400 concerts to American and Australian troops throughout all their bases in South Vietnam during 1969 and 1970

The band reduced to a trio with Peter and Marie Rappolt and Bill Turgeon (drummer) continued performing for American troops for a further two years between 1970 and 1972 at the Philippines, Thailand, Guam and Japan

It is noted that an Aboriginal, Torres strait performer: Heather Mae Reading who was a member of Peter Rappolt's entertainment group, has never received any acknowledgement by the the Australian Defense organizations for her contribution to the war effort in South Vietnam and American Army bases in Thailand

Note: There is some extensive descriptions of Australian entertainers in Vietnam war zones further in this page

sydney band tweets Link to Sydney Band tweets about local gigs

sydney band facebook Link to Facebook for Sydney band Viva

TOURS: Asia (pre 2005) - Europe 2010 - Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, New Orleans, Mexico 2014

asia tours Sydney bands touring Europe sydney bands in Cuba

Their recent tour of Argentina revealed a lot of tango's and Astor Piazzola music, In Brazil they heard the best sambas and in Cuba they heard lots of Salsa music. They heard their first rock music of their tour in New Orleans where they witnessed about 50 Rock bands playing on a 400m strip of Bourbon street at extraordinary volumes with drunks and prostitutes roaming between the venues, there was also a heavy police presence to curb the petty violence on the street

Video's of our tour of South America in July and August 2014 with music of New Orleans, music of Argentina, music of Brazil and music of Cuba have been posted on our : YouTube links page

Peter and his wife Marie formed the Viva bands in 1996 after closing down their land development, civil construction and gold mining companies, they are currently busy in Sydney and Internationally, playing: French inspired Euro jazz, South American music and music from the American songbook, they also perform for advertising production studios

Peter and his wife Marie continually strive to produce beautiful music and are hoping they can dedicate their music heritage for the benefit of their grand son Oliver Charles Rappolt

The bands are popular internationally, with their CD regularly played overseas, they also perform music for radio and TV advertising in the USA, produced by Nick West at Smith and Western Studios

The band's singer, Corinne Andrew is also a session singer for Nylon Studios based in Cannes, New York and Sydney, Corinne's session work is aired on radio and TV in Australia and the USA

Our current band, Viva the band, recording of Minor swing has reached no 1 on the Australian top 100 charts according to N1M music

Peter Rappolt Guitar and Flute player, Watchmaker, Dancer, Composer, Producer, Gold Miner, Plant Operator, Civil Contractor, Developer and builder

guitar player that performed in Vietnam This webpage has been written by Peter Rappolt (photo) who is the guitar player in Viva the band, Sydney, Australia, Peter has been responsible for producing and managing all his bands, accompanied with his wife Marie, they have had an incredible journey with their music, most of the history written in this page is the result of the writer witnessing most of the events first hand

60's entertainers that were accompanied by the Echomen at live performances

Australian 60's (sixties) recording and television artists, entertainers and famous Australian bands including; The Bee Gees, Johnny Farnham, The Delltones, Johnny Ashcroft, Johnny O'Keefe, Rob E G

The Viva combinations

bands that performed Vietnam

This page is very informative and outlines a number of events that shaped Australian teenage culture in the 50's, 60's and 70's. There is some rich and diverse history of some Australian bands in the Vietnam war and throughout Asia, there are also stories of the contribution by some of the members of a current Sydney band, Viva the band formerly "The Echomen" in the formative years of popular music and surf music in Australia


This page has a lot of information, these quick links can be time saving and take you to the items that may be of interest to you

  • The Authors journey commences in the North Queensland Goldfields, now with Viva the band Link
  • Wilma Reading, Dulcie Reading (Georgia Lee), Heather Mae Reading Link
  • The evolution of pop culture in Australia in the 50 and 60's Link
  • Music at the Trocadero in the 40 and 50's Link
  • Don Burrows story Link
  • The fabulous 60's, The Echomen, one of Australia's 1st. "surf" bands Link
  • The Echomen story on youtube Link
  • Bands at the Charles Hotel, Chatswood in the 60's Link
  • The Formation of the Sounds Of Lawrence with Terry Kaff and Brenda Christian Link
  • THE WAR IN VIETNAM the 60's and 70's Link
  • Sydney bands tour from Bangkok to Japan Link
  • Formation of Viva the duo and Viva the band Link
  • For information about other bands, venues etc. go to the index page link

composer of surf music in 1963 Australian surf music band

A Band For All Occasions was formed by Peter and Marie Rappolt after the disbanding of The Echomen in 1968. At that time Peter Formed a new band The Sounds of Lawrence (S.O.L.) The band performed throughout Asia and Australia until 1980. Peter and Marie ceased playing music from 1980 until 1996 at which time they formed Viva the duo and Viva the band, these bands are currently very active in Sydney and regularly tour throughout NSW, Queensland and internationally

Where the journey began

Peter and Charles Rappolt a Queensland politician musician

Peter Rappolt was born in Cairns, North Queensland and grew up on the goldfields at Gilberton on the Gilbert river at the gulf country in the outback of North Queensland (photo) Peter Rappolt (left) Charles Rappolt M.P. (right) Member for Mulgrave 1998 (deceased)

The Rappolt family are mentioned in the early history of the goldfields at Mitchelmores of Gilberton stories

stone cottage used as a fortressPeters father developed a silver lead mine at 4 mile creek at Gilberton, near the stone house (photo) he transported the ore to Einalsleigh to rail freight to the smelters at Townsville, during this time peter came in contact with Ernie Mitchelmore, Tom Mitchelmore, Lydia (mum) Mitchelmore, the Hoolihan's, Peg leg, The Bojack family and other notable Gulf characters

The stone house was used for a time in the late 1800's as a fortress when white settlers were continually attacked by aborigines, resulting in the eventual evacuation of white people from the locality

Early aviator in Cairns

Peter moved to Cairns in 1957 where he took on an apprenticeship as a watch maker at a jewellery store owned by Tom McDonald, a famous Cairns Pioneer aviator (photo). Tom Mc Donald formed the first airline company in North Queensland. The International airport in Cairns was built at the location where Tom used to land his plane on the tidal flats. Tom and Peter became good friends and Tom used to take Peter to visit his friends for a beer most Friday afternoons during his time as a watchmaker at Tom Mc Donald's Jewellery store. Coincidently, Col Joy's wife Dallas worked at Tom McDonald's store at the same time as Peter

Peter lived in a house at Yorkeys Nob outside of Cairns, the house was surrounded by sugar cane plantations, Peter was treated to the music that the local Italian cane cutters used to sing whilst they were working, they regularly held house parties where accordion players and banjo players performed popular European tunes

Wilma Reading, Dulcie Reading (Georgia Lee), Heather mae Reading

About the same time Peter met the Pitt and Reading families in Cairns, Heather Pitt and Dulcie Pitt (known as Georgia Lee), Wally Pitt, Heather Reading and Wilma Reading. Their wonderful vocal performances in Cairns were a revelation to Peter

Heather Pitt became a very popular Jazz Vocalist in Sydney

Dulcie Pitt (Georgia Lee) became a member of the Geraldo Dance Band in London in 1954, She also performed with Nat King Cole in the 1950's

Dulcie Pitt died in her sleep at the age of 89 in Cairns on Friday the 24th April 2010

Peter also met her brother Wally Pitt when he was playing guitar in the Trocadero Dance Orchestra in Cairns

The Pitts, Heather, Dulcie and her brother Wally, entertained American Forces at the Grand Hotel in Cairns in the 1940's

Wilma Reading got her first big break singing with a Brisbane-based 17-piece swing band and with the ABC Orchestra. Wilma appeared on Bandstand in Sydney and recorded with Festival Records, she became very popular in Europe, she played Julie in the musical Showboat and made over 30 BBC TV appearances, including her own Wilma Reading BBC TV Specials

After a first engagement at the Goodwood Hotel in Singapore, Wilma then toured for Hilton Hotels International. She was discovered at the Tokyo Hilton by the American ABC Agency who contracted Wilma to appear at the Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas. A string of other live U.S. appearances followed including a season at the legendary Copacabana Nightclub, New York. Wilma appeared on the renowned Johnny Carson Show and for an entire season on the Morecambe and Wise Show

Wilma worked with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, starring with Jim Brown in the U.S. film Pacific Inferno, a UNICEF television special with Danny Kaye, thirty-three one woman concerts in Russia, appearing on over seventy-five international television shows, a BBC concert with Charles Aznavour at the London Festival Hall, recording the soundtrack title song for the Julie Andrews-Omar Sharif film "The Tamarind Seed"

Wilma performed at the reunification concert in Berlin with the West Berlin Symphony (RIAS) on her left and the East Berlin Symphony on her right. Wilma Married Ray Lehr ( now deceased) her agent in South Vietnam

Much of this information is on the public domain on the internet

According to Wilma's Interview with the ABC (on Monday 23rd May 2011) Wilma returned to Cairns, North Queensland, she mentioned in the ABC interview she felt was going into depression

In 1970 Wilma's younger sister, Heather Mae Reading was a vocalist for Peter's band The Sounds of Lawrence (now Viva the band) when they performed in South Vietnam and Thailand. Heather returned to Australia in 1971 and worked on the club circuit in NSW until about 1996

I recall Heather's mother wrote me a lovely letter in the early 70's thanking me for providing Heather the opportunity to become a contributing artist in our shows in the Vietnam war and at our nightclub in Bangkok

A youtube video of Heather Mae Reading in South Vietnam can be viewed at youtube videos page

I have not noticed anything about Heather's live performances over the last few years, I have a few of Heather's performances in Thailand on tape, however I am unable to make them available to the public

Heather mae has a facebook page so more information about her may be available there

I met Wilma again in Bangkok, at that time, her younger sister, Heathermae was working with us at our club, Wilma performed some of Cleo Lane's repertoire at one of her shows that we attended

A relative of the Pitts, Gavin Ware also achieved some success as a musician, Peter knew Gavin well in the 50's, Peter played tennis against Gavin on one occasion, Gavin had a chequered career

There are photos of Wilma on Google and a recent photo of Wilma Reading - Lehr published on the public domain at Andrew Butt website: Photo of Wilma Reading-Lehr performing at Palm Cove, Cairns in 2014

The fabulous 60's the Echomen Local Musicians and an Australian "surf" band

Manly Daily write up about recognition of Entertainers in Vietnam

Manly Daily write up

The earlier events with the Pitts and the Reading families, inspired Peter to take up music as a hobby. After completing his watch making apprenticeship in 1962, Peter formed the Echomen with two of his friends in Cairns north Queensland, Rod Rumble (vocal and guitar) and Ken Lennon (drums). The band moved from Cairns to Sydney in the same year

Peter's brother, Charles was living in Sydney at that time and he was enticed to take up Bass and join the Echomen. Peter got a job as an assistant jewelery buyer at Prouds in Sydney until 1963 at which time the Echomen secured a residency at the Charles Hotel Chatswood

The Echomen were one of the pioneers of surf music in Australia. producing a hit record called "Ski Run" in the summer of 1963. Peter and Charles Rappolt (who went on to become member for Mulgrave) and a temporary member, an aborigine, Johnny Forrester, were all involved in the writing and recording of the tune. Peter Rappolt also wrote a number of other hit tunes over the next two years of their recording contract with HMV records at EMI 301 studio

Johnny Forrester has never been acknowledged by others as the 1st Aborigine in Australia that was involved in the composition and performance of Surf music in Australia, although Johnny was only with the band for a few weeks, I am very grateful for his contribution to success of the Echomen

Australian popular surf tune of the sixties Australia no1 tune

Recent news 8th October 2014: Our recording of Minor Swing has just reached No 1 on the Australian Charts and No 4 on the World Charts at Number 1 Music

The Echomen story on youtube youtube videos page

The popularity of their recordings resulted in many television performances in Sydney in the 60's, including appearances on Johnny O'Keefe's TV Shows. The Echomen were befriended by Johnny who used to frequent their venues. Johnny also helped them out when they recorded some music at Festival studios for his show. Johnny was one of the backing singers for the Four Seasons cover song "Stay" that the Echomen performed on his show. Ski Run was also aired with a clip on Brian Henderson's Television show "Bandstand"

The Echomen also appeared at local surf clubs including Collaroy and Manly. They also performed at Surf City, Kings Cross with Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, The Atlantics, The Denvermen, The Statesmen, Doug Parkinson and his band Focus. At one of the radio 2UW concerts at Lane Cove National Park there was an audience in excess of 70,000 people who witnessed The Echomen performances (photo)

Anne Reilly

In 1964 Anne Reilly joined the Echomen at the Charles hotel, Anne became very popular on the Sydney TV circuit. A recording of Anne Reilly with The Echomen is at Video page. Anne reilly passed away on the 30th August 2013

Peter successfully shed the mantle of 60's music in the mid 90's They recently toured throughout Europe and South America, he is currently devoting his time to Jazz and International music with his wife Marie

The Museum of Surfing and The Echomen instrumental surf recordings

An organization at Burleagh Heads is constructing a museum portraying the history of surf culture in Australia. Peter Rappolt's, The Echomen (early Viva band) were one of the pioneers of surf instrumental music compositions and recordings in Australia along with the Atlantics. The Echomen recordings will be featured on a continuing basis at the museum

Australian surf band of the 60's Australian surf band concert 1963

The evolution of teenagers pop culture in Australia in the 50's and 60's

Prior to the mid 50's, teenagers were an invisible force in Australia, they were rarely seen in public places or entertainment venues without the company of their parents. Teenagers were excluded from music, entertainment and all forms of marketing. Parents went to dance halls and sometimes they took their teenage children with them

At dances there were no teenage couples, generally, boys gathered around at one location of the dance hall and the teenage daughters sat with their parents, they often danced with their fathers, boys usually asked permission from the girls parents to dance with their daughters

Music at the Trocadero in the 40 and 50's

At the advent of WW2 dance halls were very popular, particularly as a medium for American soldiers to meet Australian women, some adults went to dances almost every night of the week. In NSW alone, there were about 2,000 dance venues on most nights of the week, many were frequented by up to 1,000 patrons at places such as the Albert Palais and the Trocadero, swing, Jive, Latin and old time dance music was very popular

Sydney festival organizers conducted an event in 2011 to try and replicate the Trocadero and the music that was played there. Unfortunately their attempt at this was abysmal. The Trocadero was primarily a dance venue featuring music for modern and oldtime ballroom dancing. Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Tango, Barn dance, Gypsy tap etc. The music that the current festival is featuring is (hip) Jazz music, most likely the music of The Cotton Club era, not ballroom dancing music from the Trocadero. It is galling to witness thousands of people being duped into thinking that (hip) Jazz this was the primary music style played at the Trocadero in its time

In the 50's Jazz music began to lose its popularity with the emergence of rock and roll music, just prior to that, adults and teenagers were listening to the same music from movie productions and a popular form of toned down jazz and swing with added (respectable) classical musicians and orchestras backing artists such as: Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald etc. A good example of the cleaning up or toning down of Jazz music was shown in the evolution of Nat King Coles career. Nat originally began his career with an excellent jazz trio, by the late 50's Nat was presented as a single popular act, presenting tunes such as "Mona Lisa" with a stringed orchestra backing him in a style quite removed from his earlier successes as a jazz musician. Similarly, Wes Montgomery was a Jazz guitarist who was also treated in the same manner. Patti Page was a marketers dream particularly with songs like "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window" appealing to the white masses. Artists such as Frank Sinatra were also affected by the downturn of big Band music when Mitch Miller took over the no 1 spot on the airwaves with comedy music

The emergence of new technology for Guitars with high powered pick up's and amplifiers allowed small combos to be loud enough to replace orchestras and jazz bands with wind instruments, besides that, many new pop tunes were being written with a limited requirement for musical proficiency, allowing amateur teenagers to dominate the commercial radio and TV scene

Don Burrows

Our good friend Don Burrows

Don Burrows

Don Burrows is highly regarded as an iconic jazz player throughout the World, Don was a mentor to James Morrison who first met Don at the Sydney consevatorium when James was 16 years old

Don recently had a major stroke and James Morrison and his wife Jill, have taken on the job of being his guardians in Sydney

Don Burrows recently played flute with Viva at Terry Hills. Their early encounter with Don was when Viva took over the gig at the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel after Don left in the 70's

Viva traveled to South America in 2013, they came across venues in Brazil and Cuba where Don spent a lot of time performing his music, he became well known amongst the Jazz fraternity there

When Viva played music at Don's nursing home, Don befriended them and they spent many hours together. Don was a great storyteller, here are some snippits:

Don began his career jamming with bands that used to frequent Bondi beach, he started performing with ukulele and eventually took up flute, saxophone and trombone

Don had a long association with George Golla, he referred to George as "the guitarist with the greatest hands in the World"

Don also became very proficient as a photographer

Don was a keen fisherman and his first income as a teenager was the catching of fish off the rocks near Bondi and selling them to locals

Don was a close friend of Frank Sinatra, when Frank came to Australia to perform his concerts Don was the leader of the woodwind section of his orchestra. Don and Frank used to dress up in hobo's clothes as a disguise so they would not get hounded by the paparazzi whenever the went out socializing

Don was also a good friend with Stephan Grapelli, they shared fishing in common and Don took Stephan to many of his local favorite fishing spots

The teenage revolution commenced in the mid 50's with the release of Bill Hayley and the Comets recording of Rock around the Clock

It seems that current polular music evolved from indeginous (american indian) music which progressed from their music through to blues, African American music, folk, jazz to the popular music we hear today. Cajun and Zydeco music was heavily influenced by French music and early country music may be an off shoot of folk music

It can be said that popular Rock and Roll was influenced by indigenious music and with Bill Hayley re-arranging country music, experimenting with different rhythms from about 1951, up until that time Bill Hayley was strictly a country musician

Early Rock and Roll was country music with a few modifications

Rock around the clock was a tune with the rhythm of a typical country or Texas swing style of that era, however the style was modified with the beats two and four of the bar much more strongly emphasized (strong back beat)

Louis Jordan, initially a jazz musician, had also established a Rhythm and Blues style in the 40's era that was also a major influence for Rock and Roll. Rhythm and Blues at that time was only attributed to black musicians who had been influenced by Indeginous music. The advent of Rock and Roll created an opportunity for white musicians to imitate and to cash in on the music evolution

In the latter part of the 50's a host of single popular artists such Buddy Holley, Paul Anka, Frankie Valens, Elvis Presley and the like were compelled to conform to the preferences of radio sponsors, marketing and recording company executives to produce respectable "white" interpretations of socially unacceptable black Rhythm and Blues music. These preferences by businessmen and marketers were popularized by continual air play with support by advertisers. Many "rebel" artists that did not conform to this formula did not get airplay and fell by the wayside. Pop music continued to evolve with gentler rhythms and were often produced with socially acceptable strings, backing singers and orchestras.

Currently some bands are using similar types of backing tracks and learn tunes in a parrot fashion to imitate the original bands. A huge industry has evolved for entertainers to cash in on the success of original bands by creating "tribute" or "covers" bands with artificially produced backing tracks, often manufactured by skilled computer buffs. Similarly some Jazz artists such as Diana Krall and Harry Connick Jnr. have recently copied the marketing formula of the 50's, augmenting their Jazz trios with classical orchestras to popularize their "Jazz" act. Country music was also affected, the "Nashville sound" evolved partly by utilizing the addition of stringed orchestras to country music. The respectability of these types of presentation are mirrored by most audiences attending concerts dressed in tuxedos and evening dress.

The summer of 63, a definitive date of change of an era in pop music in Australia

Australia top 40 popular recordings in the 60's You may notice that the Australia's top 10 (photo) reflects the end of an era and the beginning of another transformation of the pop culture in Australia. In 1963, Maria Elena, a gentle guitar instrumental was No1 on the hit parade at the time, also on the hit parade was a recording by Eartha Kitt " Just an Old Fashioned Girl" which was being purchased by teenagers. (who would have thought this was possible?) Peter Rappolt still plays Maria Elena at his shows in Sydney

The label "Surf" Instrumentals only commenced in 1963 possibly because of a number of similar styles Instrumentals arriving on the hit parade in September 1963, a couple were named as surf related creating a sort of critical mass. The Echomen recording of Ski Run reached the hit parade with a number of other "surf" tunes in the same month of 1963. Prior to this summer there were quite a few Instrumentals of a similar style released by the Shadows, the Ventures and the like, however, they were not labeled as "surf" tunes at the time

Instrumental Surf music made a huge impact upon Australian teenagers even though the major surf hits only lasted for the one summer (1963-1964). The instrumental surf culture commenced with teenagers packing Sydney's beaches with standing room only with speakers lining the beachfront blaring out Radio top 40 with popular announcers such as Ward pally Austin shouting "a rick a poody and a fandoogalee" to announce himself. A dance called "the stomp" emerged from the surf culture as an uniquely Australian dance. A popular recording by "Little Pattie" Amphlett was called "Stompin' at Maroubra". A venue at kings Cross called Surf City hosted performers such as the Atlantics, The Echomen, The Delltones, Billie Thorpe and the Aztecs, The Statesmen, The Denvermen and Doug Parkinson with his band Focus

The popularity of surf music, and instrumental music generally, was abruptly cut short in 1964 when the Beatles emerged on the scene and blasted most other genre of pop music off the hit parades, raising the level of pop music to another dimension

Instrumental bands and musicians were not considered to be sexy and boy bands such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones seemed to be "sexy". Boy bands were the precurser to girl bands who also became popular in the sixties. Instrumental music from groups like the Shadows, The Surfaries, The Ventures and Australian surf bands such as the Echomen, The Atlantics, The Statesmem and The Denvermen faded into oblivian. It was noted there was one exception, Midnight Oil, normally known as a vocal group, did produce a popular surf styled Instrumental called "Wedding Cake Island" at a later date

Another radio announcer, Bob Rogers rose to prominence when he became involved with the Beatles tour in Australia when teenagers took to supporting vocal bands to the detriment of instrumental Surf bands. The Echomen were fortunate to be able to develop themselves as cabaret styled entertainers with continual work at the Charles Hotel, Chatswood. Other Instrumental bands that were popular at the time included: The Denverman, The Atlantics and the Statesmen. These groups as well at the typical "sixties" bands were forgotten when the next era of Australian pop entertainment commenced with such shows as "Countdown" hosted by Mollie Meldrum, leaving Australian Instrumental surf bands as a dim memory

Mollie Meldrum steered Australian music into an artistic event. Mollie was instrumental in popularizing many Australian entertainers and overseas artistes including: ACDC, Kylie Minogie, Madonna, Abba, Johnny Farnham, The Dragons, Easy beats and Cold Chisel to name a few

Countdown was eventually eased out of existence by high cost video productions on MTV

Salsa music was not played to Australian audiences

Salsa is the music of Cuba and was the most dynamic and significant pan-American musical phenomena of the 1970s and 1980s, audiences for Salsa music surpassed the general audiences for UK and USA rock bands. In New York and in South America, Latin Salsa bands such as the Fania All-stars were decidedly more popular than iconic groups such as the Rolling Stones etc. Salsa music did not make many inroads into Australia, primarily because there were few local musicians that were capable of understanding or replicating the complex nature of the music and secondly, Australian radio just did not promote the music, preferring to promote just rock and pop music

There was one Cuban inspired group called Carlos Santana that came onto the scene for a short time in the 70's with a Cuban style tune "Oye Como Va", this style of music is still prevalent in Cuba (witnessed by Peter and Marie in their tour of Cuba in 2014)

Reflecting on these era's gives a good insight of the events that revolutionized pop culture in Australia. By the mid 60's teenagers were enjoying their freedoms, spending their own monies on desirable products marketed to attract them and being entertained at all sorts of dance venues including pubs and clubs without the company of their parents. Big business and marketing became hugely concentrated on the purchasing power of the youth of Australia, America and UK. For a while it seemed the success of a musician or entertainer could only be accomplished by conforming to a marketing formula created by businessmen

It is unlikely that current pop, rap, hip-hop music can be played as strictly instrumental music, melodies are mainly repetitive and song after song is produced with a great degree of similarity, the current trend is to produce video clips of the music with the emphasis on large groups of dancers performing, thereby creating more of a visual act

Other popular music labeled K-pop" was formulated from Western pop culture and is one of the most highest earning activities in Korea. It seems the Koreans could not overcome the similarities of tune after tune so they have created massive dance routines to overcome this

It seems that Australian senior audiences also follow marketed music, they flock in their thousands to witness a "king of waltz" Violinist performing Waltzing Matilda on his multi million dollar violin. Another radio announcer, Alan Jones has befriended the player as well, which seems, (to the writer) to increase Alan's popularity

A 60's band at the Charles Hotel

Sydney bands and entertainers at the Charles Hotel at Chatswood from 1963 until 1968

Hotel Charles, Chatswood 1966 Charles Rappolt, Doug Gallagher, Des Gibson, lee Saunders, Peter Rappolt

(photo left)-Peter Rappolt, Griff Beale (little Rock Billy), John Spence, Lee Saunders, Charles Rappolt ----(photo right) Charles Rappolt, Doug Gallagher, Lee Saunders, Des Gibson, Peter Rappolt

The Echomen had a long association with the Charles Hotel at Chatswood which was owned by Bill Waterhouse and family at the time. Bill Waterhouse is the grandfather of Tom Waterhouse the notable TV bookmaker. The band performed at the Charles for 6 nights a week and Saturday afternoons and became very popular, packing the room with fans every night which resulted in the Charles Hotel continuing to maintain the highest beer sales in the Southern Hemisphere for a single venue during the Echomen residency 1963-1968. Peter managed to learn ballroom dancing at a local dance studio during the bands residency at the Charles and attained gold medal status as a competition dancer. This aspect of ballroom music was also significant in the evolution of Peter's music appreciation. Rod Rumble and Ken Lennon left the Echomen in 1966 and new personnel included Ann Reilly, Griff Beale, Lee Saunders, John Spence, Doug Gallagher (session drummer), and Des Gibson. The Echomen also backed guest artists that appeared on Friday and Saturday Nights at the Hotel including: The Bee Gees, Johnny Farnham, Rob E G, The Delltones, Sandy Scott, and many other popular artists of the sixties era

The Echomen are currently the subject of surf band cults emerging in Europe. A recent six page documentary about The Echomen can be found in the British Magazine, The New Gandy Dancer (December 2003 edition). A recent publication of the Last Post (spring 2011) featured a documentary called "Whatever Happened to the Echomen"

Peter Rappolt and Ken Lennon (drums) are the only surviving members of the original Echomen, Charles Rappolt (bass) went on to become a member of Parliament in Queensland and soon after died due to tragic circumstances in 1999, Peter only recently heard that Rod Rumble, vocalist and rhythm guitar, also died recently in Cairns, Griff Beale and Ann Reilly members the Echomen at the Charles Hotel are also deceased

The formation of The Sounds of Lawrence with Terry Kaff and Brenda Kristian

Australian band in the 60's with Terry Kaff, Peter Rappolt, Brenda Kristian, Bob Dahl, Peter Gillette, Ted Langly, Sounds of Lawrence Band 1968

In 1968 Peter Rappolt formed a new band with Terry Kaff and Brenda Kristian called The Sounds of Lawrence (S.O.L.) Terry regularly entered talent quests at the Charles Hotel when The Echomen were there. Peter recognized his potential and invited Terry to be the vocalist for S.O.L. Peter provided Terry with good venues and well rehearsed backing arrangements with his band to give Terry a start in the Industry on a professional basis, Terry developed into a good band vocalist and later became a popular session vocalist with over 900 recordings. Brenda Kristian (Glover) had a similar experience, she had only worked with a garage practice band until she joined S.O.L. Brenda became well known in the Philippines where she was befriended by President Marcos, Brenda was also a regular performer on the Mike Walsh Show

The S.O. L. first performances were at the Bronte Charles Hotel followed up by a season at Smiggins Ski Resort, Mt Kosciusko. The band returned to Sydney (minus Brenda) to perform for the Toohey's group of hotels. Terry left S.O.L. to work with Mike Perjanik. Doug Gallagher, a drummer who was in Peters previous band also began working with Mike Perjanik. There were also a number of other band member replacements with Peter Gillette (keyboards) from the New Zealand group, The Castaways and Peter Skerrett (bass) from Mike Perjanik's band joining S.O.L. and Dave (Deke) Kennedy a drummer from N.Z.

Marie Rappolt was working in the copyright section at Festival records until she joined S.O.L in late 1968 as a keyboard player, Marie became a specialist at performing covers of Booker T and the MG's instrumentals on a M3 Hammond organ and 147 Leslie combination throughout the 70's. Marie also became well known in Bangkok with publications about her in the society columns and as one of the owners and manager of the Pub, a popular entertainment Venue opposite the Australian Embassy

During 1967- 1968 Peter was a student at Don Andrews School of Music at Bondi. Don was reputed as Australia's finest guitar tutor. Don asked Peter to "dep" for him on many recording sessions for product commercials, one of the commercials that Peter played guitar for is the advertisement for Victorian Bitter beer (with John Mellion voice over) This advertisement was continually aired on television and radio for 38 years

A Sydney band in the war zones of South Vietnam

History of the war in Vietnam

To begin with, it seems the biggest problem with the Vietnam war can be explained simply:

Despite the well intentioned motives and immense generosity of the American people, the USA backed the wrong side, a brief description of the history of Vietnam reveals that fact

  • The American position was, that they considered the Vietnam situation as an expansion of the cold war with Russia and Communism. Australians and New Zealanders as part of the ANZUS pact were allied to the American position as they felt threatened and wanted a powerful partner
  • The North Vietnam position was, they simply wanted independence, they had been fighting for their independence from China for hundreds of years and they were afraid that America was going to colonize them as the French had done
  • The Chinese controlled Vietnam until 1861 when an Independent Vietnam nation was formed
  • Once Vietnam became independent it became vulnerable and the French took advantage of this, they seized control of Saigon and South Vietnam in 1867 and North Vietnam in 1883
  • in 1940-1941 The Japanese invaded Vietnam and the country was controlled jointly by the French and Japanese
  • When France was taken over by Germany a Vietnamese communist, Ho Chi Minh attempted to claim independence once again for Vietnam
  • When Japan was defeated in 1945 the French regained control of Vietnam with the support of the British and Americans
  • French rule was harsh, they took over the plantations, the mines and the economy of Vietnam. The Vietnamese became 2nd. class citizens, they were not allowed to trade in alcohol, rice and salt. The Vietnamese civilians were forced into labour under threat of Jail and many starved to death
  • In 1946 a revolutionary element of the Vietnamese called Vietminh attacked the French in Hanoi and the Indochina war began, France bombed Haiphong Harbour and killed over 6,000 civilians in that event
  • In 1954 The Vietminh defeated the French at the battle of Dien Bien Phu creating a division of Vietnam into North and South Vietnam
  • North Vietnam was governed by Ho Chi Minh, a member of the French Communist party and South Vietnam was controlled by Ngo Dinh Diem
  • Ho Chi Minh pleaded for many years with the USA to help the Vietnamese resolve the dispute that had escalated into a civil war
  • In 1956 Ngo Dinh Diem and the Americans refused to allow free elections for the Vietnamese people although Ho Chi Minh supported free elections
  • President Eisenhower was of the opinion that, if there was a free election in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh was likely to win 80% of the votes
  • USA ignored Ho Chi Minh because he was a member of the communist party and they were concerned about a Domino theory "that Vietnam would fall to the communists and thereby weaken the surrounding democratic governments"
  • USA chose to support a corrupt South Vietnamese Government (dictatorship) and Ho Ch Min turned to China and Russia to support his cause for a united Vietnam
  • Because of the involvement of the Chinese, the Russians and the fear of the domino theory, USA escalated the conflict in Vietnam to an all out offensive involving hundreds of thousands of American troops, over 58,000 killed American soldiers and an enormous amount of taxpayer funds and military assets
  • The war was extended primarily because the South Vietnamese enjoyed the monetary compensation it received from the Americans , they conducted skirmishes to place the Americans under continuing stress with friendly fire, they did not want them to leave and take their money with them
  • In hindsight, the domino theory did not evolve upon the communist takeover of South Vietnam (which is a parallel to the War in Iraq that was conducted because of the weapons of mass destruction theory)
  • According to a recent documentary about the War in South Vietnam the TV presenter suggested "Australian soldiers went to South Vietnam because of a lie by PM Menzies, he said in Parliament that South Vietnam wanted Australian help, this was not true, the South Vietnam government did not want yet more colonial powers coming to their country"
  • It may surprise many people to hear that there was a war of equal proportion in Laos where the American CIA conducted a secret war under the auspices of four American presidents whilst the Vietnam war was in progress, more bombs were dropped by American planes in Laos than were used in the Vietnam war and World War 2 in Europe and Japan. America conducted bombing raids every 8 minutes 24 hours a day for 9 years killing many thousands of civilians. To this day there are over 78 million unexploded ordinances lying around in Laos which continues to kill or maim hundreds of civilians every year
  • The war in Laos escaped observation by the press and the people of America as it was a closed shop and there were very few American ground troops in the area
  • It seems to the writer that our current government is also conducting our border policies in the same manner, locking out the press and not informing the populace about their operations

Entertainers and the war in Vietnam

Vietnam 1969

A Video and soundtrack of the bands tour in South Vietnam in 1969 is at youtube videos page

In 1969 Peter and Marie produced and managed a cabaret show to perform throughout South Vietnam for American and Australian troops with: their drummer at the time, Alan Carol, two dancers a female singer and a MC . Their first tour was for 8 Months

Their second tour was for 6 months and was called "Doing Our Thing"

This show was also produced and managed by Peter Rappolt and was made up of: MC- Vocalist Joe Dicker, his wife Carol Dicker as a dancer, Deirdre Brannigan, dancer, Heather May Reading Vocalist and the musicians, the Sounds of Lawrence with Peter Rappolt Guitar, Marie Rappolt, Organ and keyboard bass and Ray Rugless, Drums

Peter engaged Joe Dicker for the Vietnam show when he observed Joe's potential at many talent quests at the Charles Hotel. When Joe returned to Sydney he went on to star in number of musicals, commencing as Herod In JC superstar, Joe was also cast in many TV shows and commercials, his wife Carol is a director of a theatrical production company. Peters brother Charles, arranged for Heather May Reading to join Peter's touring showband

Plaque presented to Sounds of Lawrence in Vietnam helicopter transport for entertainers in South Vietnam 1969-1970 - on youtube entertainer in Sth Vietnam in 1970, check out this show on youtube entertainer performing for American and Australian soldiers in South Vietnam in 1969 and 1970 as shown on youtube chinook helecopter in Vietnam 1969 on youtube the people of South Vietnam in 1969 on youtube entertainers in war zones musicians entertaining in South Vietnam in November 1969 video on youtube
entertainers in Vietnam

Marie and Peter were married in November 1969 during a short interval of their tours to South Vietnam

The Sapphires

After watching the movie The Sapphires, I was reminded about some incidents we endured on our tour there, in particular, there was a scene where the entertainers were bailed up by hostile Vietnamese. In our case, we were travelling without a protective convoy between Long Binh and Saigon, a 33km stretch of deserted road, we were halted by South Vietnamese Police brandishing their guns who robbed us of all our cash and then let us proceed

My observation of the purpose of that scene in The Sapphires was because they had a similar experience, it did also remind us that we did not seek permission to inhabit the land of the Aboriginal people (Australia)

Peter faced many challenges in South Vietnam particularly with four georgeous females in his troupe, contant vigilance was placed on their safety amongst highly testerone charged soldiers, generally, the troupe were very well treated by the American hirachy and troops but, dissapointedly, were treated in a hostile manner by Australian soldiers because of the troupe's involvement with the Americans

The band performed over 400 concerts in the war zones of South Vietnam in a 14 month period during 1969 and 1970

The band traveled throughout South Vietnam from the Delta to the DMZ and the borders of Laos and Cambodia performing wherever troops were stationed. The band performed in locations in Nui Dat where Delta Company 6RAR was stationed, (It was in the area where the battle of Long Tan took place). The band also performed at well known bases at China beach near Danang

Most servicemen in South Vietnam usually served a tour of duty of 12 months in one location. The entertainers were required to be transported to hundreds of remote troop locations throughout South Vietnam mostly transported by UH-1 helicopters (photo) Note The landing area in the photo was cleared by an aerial bomb that explodes above the ground called a "daisy cutter".

Peter took a number of hours of movie film over their 14 months of their Sth. Vietnam experience

The band was fortunate to be hired by American USO and CPA organizations. The band witnessed many skirmishes and spent many nights in protected bunkers, However the American organizations operated with great efficiency, appreciation and commitment to the welfare and safety of entertainers in their war zones, despite being in the middle of a number of attacks, none of the entertainers in S.O.L were injured

Many public impressions about the civilian casualties in South Vietnam were ill conceived. A major cause of casualties for Vietnamese civilians was caused by the fact that many Viet Cong insurgents were dispersed among the populace, as an example, many waiters who worked at American military clubs and bars, and gardeners at American bases were Viet Cong. These people were entrenched in local villages where they enjoyed some support by the citizens, they organized the local inhabitants to supply rice and accommodation to Viet Cong guerillas. Some of the American hierarchy is some places took the view that the villagers that supported the VC Insurgents could also be regarded as enemy combatants (refer My Lai massacre), also heavy handed and forceful attempts to locate and apprehend VC insurgents whist still trying to maintain some safety for the American troops often impacted upon the innocents, to the extent that most civilians felt they were under the boot of the Americans

The simple premise that, at least 76% of the south Vietnamese farmers would provide rice to a Viet Cong in support of their cause and the remainder, who resisted, provided rice to the Viet Cong with a gun at their head, was much more effective that an American providing compensation to them for not providing the rice

The fact that Australian politicians lied to their people over their involvement in the Vietnam war, these type of events are still a cause of great concern in respect of soldiers in the current combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. It seems that Australia and American authorities have not heeded the lessons of South Vietnam, because of their huge generosity and misguided concern for democracy

It seems that politicians and RSL clubs with "lest we forget" portray deaths in war as being clinical and neat, when in fact combat involves killing of young people, (most just out out of school), by shooting or bombing, resulting in blood spurting from bodies onto the ground, flesh drooping from burns and limbs mangled or blown off, horrific scenes that seem to be glorified, rather than recounted or reflected upon

Our opinions about the current terrorist threats (as of 2013)

The peoples of Iraq and Afganistan are historically governed by Tribal forces, the most powerful lords fight and kill their opposition to maintain control, they consider Americans and their allies as competition to their control. American politicians are also sending courageous young servicemen into combat for corrupt foreign governments

It is the writer opinion that, as soon as American and allied forces leave Iraq and Afghanistan, the powerful entities such as local chiefs, warlords, thugs, politicians, councils, police etc. will exert their power to rule the civilian populace by fear once again. In particular, the woman of Afghanistan who have benefited with education or paid work in the absence of the Taliban may "disappear" when the Taliban return. Iraq will be subjected to civil wars for years to come

We should simply not get involved with a problem that has been simmering for hundreds of years

Australia and New Zealand is also being subjected to terrorism because of our involvement in the Middle East, we now feel threatened in our own community, more and more we are bombarded with accounts of humans killing each other

In years to come we will reflect and perceive, our uneasy feelings about threats and likely terrorist incidents within our own community, the costs of lives, our loss of comfort and safety, plus billions of dollars spent to counter terrorist threats will eventually be a huge price to pay

Update September 2016

Our predictions have come to visit us, Iraq is chronically destabilised and the Taliban are currently re-taking control of Afganistan. ISIS has been invigorated because of the chaos in the middle east

Every time history repeats itself the price goes up !

war compensations

Americans are very generous with their compensation to local civilians and other non-combatants, In South Vietnam, locals were hugely compensated if any of them were injured by American activities, in one instance we observed that American MP's lined the roads in villages we passed through in convoy, we thought it was to protect us, but no, the MP's were there to prevent Vietnamese mothers throwing their infants under the trucks in an attempt to obtain the American compensation

Another tragic consequence with Americans becoming involved In wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, more American soldiers have been killed by suicide than were killed in any military action, about 22 American soldier suicides occur each and every day since their return home

It is obvious that Americans and their allies cannot destroy the mechanism of fearful tribal control, the populace can only feel safe if their leaders are utterly ruthless, the Middle East has been further destabilized and is now utterly chaotic since the allied forces involvement in the region

It must be remembered, that extremists go into battle relishing the idea of their own death for their cause, the wearing of explosive vests whist attacking civilians indicate their intention to blow themselves up along with others as a final act of brutality and self sacrifice

When allied forces go into battle to they do so with the intent of preserving their own safety, a highly disadvantaged position

The writer finds it disturning to note that citizens in the middle-east continue to kill each other by the thousands and displace millions of peple, they also destroy complete cities, townships and communities in their region. It could not be imagined that, these typs of events could occur in our own country

Part of the solution

The best that can be done to reduce the impact of the warlords power is to assist in advancing education and communication in these countries, When the populous get access to computers and the internet they will see lots of other people living in luxurious houses, living the high life with consumer products, travel and entertainment and sending their children to college, the populace will begin to ask the question "why not us?". The warlords hate this type of society, however the people may begin to sort out the warlords themselves, obviously at the loss of many more lives

An example

We noticed on our recent tour of Cuba, a certain restlessness among the people about the slow progress of improvement to their economy and living conditions, we concluded, this restlessness can be partly attributed to the introduction and expansion of the internet in Cuba

Our thanks to the Americans

We are very grateful to the Americans authorities and the USO for the care and respect that they treated their entertainers, including our Australian band in their employ in South Vietnam, Thailand, Guam and the Philippines. The American services were always fantastic audiences and very generous

The show was also engaged to perform from time to time for the Australian and New Zealand military, the Americans happily took on the transportation, accommodation and safety of the band for the "free" shows the band performed for Australian troops at their bases at Nui Dat, Vung Tau and Bear Cat base in Bien Hoa Province South Vietnam. There was also a small contingent of New Zealand soldier in these areas

< Peter and Marie Rappolt were awarded The Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal (VLSM) in 2012, 42 years after the event, they have never received any acknowledgement for their services in war zones from any RSL organizations

Manly Daily Write up

Manly Daily write up

We noted that the Australian military (generally) only used known pop stars or notable Australian entertainers for their venues, whereas the American entertainment organizations held auditions to assess the value of any entertainers available to audition, they hired many Australian entertainers that presented themselves to work for them

As an example, the (now famous) Sapphires were not employed by the Australian military, they were hired to perform in South Vietnam by Americans

In closing about our topic about the war in Vietnam, let me say, despite the fact, the department of defense eventually awarded us the VLSM medals after 40 years of no recognition at all, we are still continually disappointed about the treatment we receive from RSL organizations since our return from Vietnam, we have never participated in any of their Anzac Day functions or marches in the last 48 years

At no time has any of the band members met any officials of the defense department since their return from Sth Vietnam

It appears that Anzac day has now been hijacked as a platform to hold a number of AFL and NRL sporting events, further commercializing the commemorative day

it is our observation that RSL organizations do not provide much support for any Vietnam war veterans or entertainers that performed in the Vietnamm war(including ourselves). They seem to want to associate and commercialize the ANZAC tradition with other current wars but not the war in Vietnam

It is notable by RSL silence and lack of media that, they have not displayed any recognition for American Forces contributions to Australian successes at their most significiant and protracted battles at Coral and Balmoral in South Vietnam during May 12th till 6th June 1968. Without the support of American helecopters and artilliary, it is likely, there would haved been many more Australian casualties and their bases would have been over-run by the North Vietnam 7th division

The battle of Long Tan was a smaller operation and it received some recognition, however, it was primarily an Australian operation with no significient collaboration with American forces

Band tour from Bangkok to Japan

1970 Sydney band entertainment in Bangkok

Australian entertainers perform for Television in Bangkok Australian entertainers in Bangkok

In 1970 S.O.L. moved to Bangkok after completing their tour of South Vietnam. Peter and Marie Rappolt purchased a nightclub called The Pub, located on the corner of Convent and Silom Road, opposite the Australian Embassy in Bangkok. Whilst they were in Bangkok Peter obtained a licence to provide entertainment to American forces throughout S.E. Asia, they used the Pub as a base to continue performances for American bases in Thailand and to showcase International performers that Peter was providing to the American entertainment system. The pub was a popular lunchtime and evening venue for Australian Embassy staff as it was located opposite the Australian Embassy in Silom Road, Bangkok and provided Australian style food as well as the Aussie entertainment. S.O.L. regularly appeared on local television (photo) as well as performing at The Pub and other venues including 5 star International hotels in S.E. Asia.

Bill Turgeon, from Brisbane, Queensland, an original drummer with Brian Cadd, (also a vocalist) joined Peter and Marie in 1970 whilst they were at the pub. Bill had just completed a series of performances in South Vietnam. Bill is currently the resident drummer in two bands in Brisbane, Homestead Country music and the Sidewinders

1972 Sydney band tours throughout Asia

Peter, Marie and Bill put together a cabaret styled concert and continued performances for allied troops throughout Thailand, Subic Bay and Clark air base in the Philippines, Guam air base and Japan for a continuing daily schedule of performances. The band stayed in Japan for 6 months performing at 5 star hotels and clubs in Osaka and Tokyo

Australian entertainers in Japan

1972 Sydney band meeting with Japanese pop star Kyu Sakamoto

Kyu Sakamoto at the Golden Club, Osaka in 1972

SOL spent a lovely evening with Kyu Sakamoto and his beautiful wife, Yukiko Kashiwaga at the Golden Club at Osaka Japan. Kyu Sakamoto had produced a world wide hit record called Sukiyaki in 1963 about the same time as the Echomen had their own record releases. more information about Kyu Sakamoto can be found at Kyu Web

Australian musicians with Kyu Sakamoto

Video of Japan

View a video of Japan containing the soundtrack Kikuchiyo to Moshimasu at youtube videos page

1972 Sydney band returns from Vietnam and tours for 8 years throughout Australia

Australian entertainers in 1979

Monique Morell In late 1972 S.O.L. returned to Australia and performed at: Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Brisbane, Ipswitch, Canberra, Mt Kosciusko, Perth, Bunbury, Lightning Ridge and Sydney. Most of the venues were on the same circuit of iconic 70's rock bands such as Old 55 and Jimmy Barns band, Cold Chisel. The band also worked for a year at The Sofitel Wentworth hotel in Sydney. The band won "the battle of the bands" at their final venue for that period, at Pittwater in Sydney in 1979. The featured vocalist in the band at the time was Monique Morrell (photo)

Monique is noted as one of Sydneys finest singers (S.M.H) and is a regularly featured performer at the Basement in Sydney

Listen to Monique's fabulous version of Shenandoah at her facebook page

Paul Freeland was the drummer in Sounds of Lawrence, he achieved fame later on as the drummer in the band Moving Pictures with their Hit song "What About Me"

1980 the cessation of musical activity and getting a (real) job to raise a family

Land subdivision and Goldmining in Australia

S.O.L disbanded in 1980 and Peter went on to become a machine operator and civil contractor constructing roads and drainage works for Councils and developers, he became a specialist at developing and constructing mobile home parks and Land subdivisions

in 1986 Peter developed his Gold mining lease at Sofala, he designed and constructed his own 100 tonne per hour gravity alluvial processing plant at Sofala (photo)

In 1990 Peter became a project manager and land developer (photo), eventually developing his own subdivisions at Bargo, Cranebrook, Prestons, Rooty Hill, Glenmore park, Frenchs Forest, Bayview, Avalon and Morrisset

View a video of Peter's Goldmine operation at Sofala NSW at YouTube Video

The return to music

1990 Sydney musicians interest in jazz music

traditional jazz band in sydney

Peter became interested in Jazz music and began playing tenor banjo in a number of trad bands in Sydney and Newcastle. the photo depicts Jiri Kripac's band "Jiri's Hot Buns" at the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel with Peter (with beard) recently converting from bango to acoustic guitar. About the same time Peter became an enthusiast of the music of D'Jango Reinhardt and the Hot Club Of France as a precursor to their current style of music



musicians (left to right) Mal Quine, John Bates, Adrian Ford, Jiri Kripac, Peter Rappolt, Wally temple, John Thompson

1996 - the formation of the Sydney Viva bands

sydney musicians perform French music, see a video of Paris with music by Viva the band on youtube Australian entertainers in Paris Peter and Marie renewed their musical association and formed VIVA the duo based upon the Hot Club Of France style of music. With the French style music in mind, Marie made a rapid transformation from playing keyboards and a bulky Hammond Organ with Leslie speakers, to playing a delightful musette accordion specially built with electronic bass.

With a host of cabaret performances behind them, Peter and Marie formed VIVA the band, teaming up with Gerri and Jose Santos, vocalists and percussion players. Gerri and Jose have a similar back ground of musical performances for American forces in Sth. East Asia Joining the group as a regular members is Griff Beale on drums, (one of the Echomen)

Australian entertainers at the Louvre, Paris Australian musicians at the Louvre Sydney bands at Gold Coast Jazz Festival


Sydney Viva bands perform a diverse repertoire of International music

Viva the band is highly regarded for their International performances with recent television appearances and live concerts in Taiwan, at the Tainan International Chi hsi Arts festival in 2004 and the Kenting song festival in 2005. The band are also well known at most major Jazz festivals and community events in NSW, Queensland and Victoria where they perform a diverse repertoire of International music, blended with a standard fare of jazz, swing and Latin music

There are a currently in excess of 3,000 press releases on the internet about the Viva bands, there also numerous youtube videos of Viva the bands performances these releases give a broad description of the great variety of work Viva the band is currently doing

Peter has also been a permanent member of a couple of 18 piece swing bands including the famous John Ferguson big band since 1997

Viva the Duo and Viva the band are popular Sydney bands for wedding receptions, parties, special corporate functions and community events for most of Sydney's local councils. They regularly work at the Hunter Valley, Central Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Bowral and Wollongong areas

Below are some recent youtube videos with soundtracks by Viva the band

Video of Paris View the video of a Paris and a selection of French songs by Viva the duo at youtube videos page

Video of Japan View a video of Japan containing the soundtrack Kikuchiyo to Moshimasu at youtube videos page

Video of Taiwan View a video of a glorious tune performed by a Korean band at the opening of the Tainan International Chihsi Arts Festival at youtube videos page

This history mentions Peter Rappolt starting the careers for some notable performers at various venues:

  • 1964 Ann Reilly -The Echomen, Charles Hotel - (popular vocalist, TV artist)
  • 1968 Terry Kaff - Sounds of Lawrence, Charles Hotel Bronte, Smiggins Hotel, Mt Kosciusko - (session vocalist for TV and radio commercials and performances in JC Superstar)
  • 1968 Brenda Kristian - Sounds of Lawrence, Smiggins Hotel, Mt Kosciusko - (session and popular vocalist on the Mike Walsh mid-day show)
  • 1969 Alan Carrol - Sounds of Lawrence, Vietnam - (popular entertainer in Qld)
  • 1970 Heather May Reading - Doin our Thing, Vietnam - (popular club performer in Sydney)
  • 1970 Joe Dicker - Doin' our Thing, Vietnam - (TV actor, theatrical productions, commercials, vocalist in JC Superstar)
  • 1970 Carol Dicker - Doin our Thing, Vietnam - (dancer and director of theatrical production Company)
  • 1978 Monique Morell - Sounds of Lawrence - (session vocalist and vocalist at the Basement)

Viva the duo International Tours

The Journey and accomplishments for the author and Viva the band

  • 1952 North Queensland Junior Tennis Champion (doubles)
  • 1958 runner up Australian International wrestling champion (bantamweight division)
  • 1957-1962 Peter completed his apprenticeship as a watchmaker in Cairns
  • 1960 began playing guitar
  • 1963 Peter formed the Echomen band and moved to Sydney where he produced a hit surf tune recording "Ski Run" which reached no 9 in Australia's top forty recordings
  • 1963-1968 The Echomen were the resident band at the Charles Hotel Chatswood
  • 1968 The Echomen disbanded
  • 1968 Peter attained Gold Medal status as a competition ballroom dancer
  • 1969 Peter and Marie were married during a brief interval of their Vietnam tours
  • 1969-1970 S.O.L band was formed and performed 400+ concerts to American soldiers in South Vietnam
  • 1970 Peter and Marie purchased and managed a night club in Bangkok "The Pub"
  • 1972 S.O L performed concerts throughout The Philippines, Guam and Japan
  • 1972-1979 S.O.L performed concerts through Australia at Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Ipswitch, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Mt Kosciusko, Perth and Lightning Ridge
  • 1980 S.O.L disbanded and Peter became a civil contractor building roads and subdivisions, his final job was constructing the groundwork's at Australia's Wonderland
  • 1987 Peter acquired a Gold Mining lease at Sofala NSW and built a 100 tonne per hour mineral processing plant and sold the mine to American Interests
  • 1989 Peter became a project manager for Parkland Planning as a caravan and mobile home park design and construction specialist
  • 1990 Peter started a land development company and completed developing over 150 lots of land
  • 1996 Peter and Marie formed The Viva bands (duo and quintet)
  • 1996 Peter won a gold medal in Geneva for his invention of the Meenee-Mo weedtrimmer mowing attachment
  • 2000 Viva the band went to Paris, France to research European music
  • 2004 and 2005 Viva the band performed at festivals in Taiwan
  • 2010 Viva the duo conducted a promotional tour of France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and England
  • 2014 Viva the duo conducted a music study tour throughout Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and New Orleans
  • Currently performing at venues in Sydney and throughout Australia with bookings for prestigious events such at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt for corporate events etc.

Vietnam entertainers contact details

If you would like to discuss your requirements for a band, please phone me at Sydney 02 9970 6006 Please note: I am the guitar player in the band, so if we are not at home, please leave a message on our answer machine or email:

A 60's band from Sydney Australia